Two simultaneous protests were carried out by Nagas and Kukis in Manipur Wednesday.
In Senapati district, around 5000 Nagas took part in the rally under the aegis of United Naga Council (UNC), who stuck their demand for an “Alternative Arrangement” while on the other hand around 3000 Kukis under the aegis of Kuki State Demand Committee (KSDC) organized rallies at Moreh and Churachandpur district reaffirming its demand for a separate Kuki state in Manipur.
“The Meitei Raja had never ruled the Nagas of Manipur. We cannot live together when you took away everything that are in our plate, therefore, the wishes of the Nagas of Manipur for an Alternative Arrangement outside GOM should be honoured,” said Committee for Alternative Arrangement (CFAA) chairman, Sword Vashum, during his public address.
The UNC rally was attended by different Naga frontal bodies including Poumai Naga Union, Mao Union, Tangkhul Naga Long, Maram Union, Thangal Union, Naga Peoples Organisation, Senapati District Women Union, Senapati District Students Association, Naga Women Union, Mao Council and ANSAM.
In his public address UNC general secretary Gaidon Kamei said that “the colonialist wanted and tried many times to crush the Nagas in different ways and means without a success and therefore, many houses burnt down, women dishonoured, crops destroyed, many tortured maimed and killed but the spirit of the Nagas could not be crushed.”
UNC president L. Adani read out the declaration of the rally and clarified that economic blockade had been lifted due to assurances given by Union Home Minister P Chidambaram to the UNC in Delhi on November 22.
Further, he asserted that all Naga tribes and frontal organizations should be “in readiness to resume agitation programme in intensified measure should the same be warranted by reneged actions of the GOM notwithstanding the above assurances of the GoI.”
Meanwhile, speakers at the KSDC rally lamented that Manipur government has betrayed the Kukis by denying creation of Sadar Hills district, tribal protection under the sixth schedule and eighth schedule.
Alleging disparity in development, leaders of the KSDC said that Kuki inhabited areas was neglected in taking up developmental works and by denying proportionate representation.
KSDC said it firmly believes that a separate state for the Kukis would provide them a political identity and a constitutionally-documented institutional space and protection within the territorial boundary of India.
KSDC further said in order to guarantee the Constitutional provisions of equality, freedom, liberty and opportunity to the Kukis, it is imperative that they should govern their own affairs in their traditional lands, as a separate state of the Indian Union. KSDC urged the Centre to expedite political dialogue with Kuki undergrounds with a view to establish lasting peace.